2.080J | Fall 2013 | Graduate

Structural Mechanics


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: Two sessions / week; 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: One session / week; one hour / session


2.002 Mechanics and Materials II

Course Description

This course covers the fundamental concepts of structural mechanics with applications to marine, civil, and mechanical structures. Topics include analysis of small deflections of beams, moderately large deflections of beams, columns, cables, and shafts; elastic and plastic buckling of columns, thin walled sections and plates; exact and approximate methods; energy methods; principle of virtual work; introduction to failure analysis of structures. We will include examples from civil, mechanical, offshore, and ship structures such as the collision and grounding of ships. At the end of the class, a formulation and partial solution will be presented of the breakup of the Columbia Space Shuttle and the sinking of the BP Deepwater Horizon platform.


Prof. Wierzbicki’s course notes are so thorough that they serve as an online textbook on structural mechanics.

This textbook is recommended by Prof. Wierzbicki:

Ugural, Ansel C., and Saul K. Fenster. Advanced Strength and Applied Elasticity. Prentice Hall, 2003. ISBN: 9780130473929. [Preview with Google Books]


Problem sets are assigned each Wednesday (except during weeks before tests) and due the next Wednesday at the beginning of lecture. Graded problem sets are returned to the students in lecture the week after it was handed in. Late problem sets are be accepted; however, credit may be granted with an excuse sent to Prof. Wierzbicki in advance.


Problem Sets 25%
Quiz 1 20%
Quiz 2 20%
Quiz 3 35%

Doctoral Qualifying Exam

This class is designed to provide substantial coverage of material required for the doctoral qualifying exam in structures.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
Lecture Notes
Online Textbook
Instructor Insights